IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Food Safety Issues, Trade and WTO Rules: A Developing Country Perspective

  • Prema-Chandra Athukorala
  • Sisira Jayasuriya

The SPS Agreement and the related WTO dispute settlement mechanism are an important first step in strengthening the global trade architecture, bringing in greater transparency and orderly conditions to world food trade. However, implementation of the new trade rules has turned out to be a more complex task than the traditional market access issues handled by the WTO. Several factors, including inadequate financial and technical resources, have constrained devel-oping countries from becoming effective participants in the implementation process, and there is widespread suspicion that SPS regulations are being used as hidden protectionist devices by developed countries. However, despite all the problems, some developing countries have been quite successful in penetrating developed country food markets; they have done so by accepting the consumer preferences and standards in quality-sensitive high-income markets and implementing domestic supply-side measures. While making full use of available international assistance initiatives, developing countries should view the task of complying with SPS standards not just as a barrier but also as an opportunity to upgrade quality standards and market sophistication in the food export sector. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
File Function: link to full text
Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Wiley Blackwell in its journal The World Economy.

Volume (Year): 26 (2003)
Issue (Month): 9 (09)
Pages: 1395-1416

in new window

Handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:26:y:2003:i:9:p:1395-1416
Contact details of provider: Web page:

Order Information: Web:

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Otsuki, Tsunehiro & Wilson, John S. & Sewadeh, Mirvat, 2001. "A race to the top? A case study of food safety standards and African exports," Policy Research Working Paper Series 2563, The World Bank.
  2. Roemer, Michael, 1979. "Resource-based industrialization in the developing countries : A survey," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 6(2), pages 163-202, April.
  3. Unnevehr, Laurian J., 2000. "Food safety issues and fresh food product exports from LDCs," Agricultural Economics, Blackwell, vol. 23(3), pages 231-240, September.
  4. J. Michael Finger, 2001. "Implementing the Uruguay Round Agreements: Problems for Developing Countries," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 24(9), pages 1097-1108, 09.
  5. Prema-Chandra Athukorala & Kunal Sen, 1996. "Processed Food Exports from Developing Countries: Patterns and Determinants," Trade and Development 96/14, Australian National University, Department of Economics.
  6. Spencer Henson & Rupert Loader, 1999. "Impact of sanitary and phytosanitary standards on developing countries and the role of the SPS Agreement," Agribusiness, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(3), pages 355-369.
  7. Hooker, Neal H., 1999. "Food safety regulation and trade in food products," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 653-668, December.
  8. George A. Akerlof, 1970. "The Market for "Lemons": Quality Uncertainty and the Market Mechanism," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 84(3), pages 488-500.
  9. Hoekman, Bernard, 2002. "Strengthening the global trade architecture for development: the post Doha agenda," World Trade Review, Cambridge University Press, vol. 1(01), pages 23-45, March.
  10. Kindleberger, Charles P, 1983. "Standards as Public, Collective and Private Goods," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(3), pages 377-96.
  11. Kinsey, Jean, 1993. "GATT and the economics of food safety," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 163-176, April.
  12. Roberts, Donna, 1998. "Preliminary Assessment of the Effects of the WTO Agreement on Sanitary and Phytosanitary Trade Regulations," Journal of International Economic Law, Oxford University Press, vol. 1(3), pages 377-405, September.
  13. Bernard M. Hoekman & Petros C. Mavroidis, 2000. "WTO Dispute Settlement, Transparency and Surveillance," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(04), pages 527-542, 04.
  14. J. Michael Finger & Philip Schuler, 2000. "Implementation of Urugauy Round Commitments: The Development Challenge," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 23(04), pages 511-525, 04.
  15. Winnie Mitullah, 2000. "Food Safety Requirements and Food Exports from Developing Countries: The Case of Fish Exports from Kenya to the European Union," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 82(5), pages 1159-1169.
  16. Henderson, Dennis R. & Sheldon, Ian M. & Pick, Daniel H., 1996. "International Commerce In Processed Foods: Patterns And Curiosities," Working Papers 51211, International Agricultural Trade Research Consortium.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:bla:worlde:v:26:y:2003:i:9:p:1395-1416. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Wiley-Blackwell Digital Licensing)

or (Christopher F. Baum)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.